In recent years, Australia has made internet privacy very difficult for its citizens. This country is a member of the Five Eyes surveillance alliance, and it allows your online activities to be recorded and stored in data warehouses.
Using VPN software is the best way to avoid getting spied on or hacked.
A quality VPN service will equip you with tools that will help you to remain anonymous on the internet. Neither your ISP nor your government will have any idea what you’re doing online. That’s why we’ve come up with a ranking of the best VPN services for Australia:
- Top-notch security features
- Excellent speeds
- Great for streaming
- No router app
NordVPN has around 270 servers in Australia and 5000+ of them worldwide. It’s an excellent service if you’re living down under. It’s just as great if you’re living abroad and want to access content that’s only available in Australia (like specific Netflix libraries). Download and upload speeds are high in both cases.
You can use this VPN on up to 6 devices simultaneously. Aside from Netflix, you can also unblock BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and other media streaming platforms. There’s also the option to use it for P2P connections and torrenting; there are specific, dedicated servers for that.
Your privacy is in good hands with this VPN. Get NordVPN to take advantage of their full security suite that includes next-gen encryption and secure tunneling protocols. Their no logs policy was also independently audited by one of the Big 4 auditing firms – PricewaterhouseCoopers AG. It’s a reliable confirmation that their promises about keeping your privacy safe aren’t just a marketing slogan.
For a deeper investigation of NordVPN, read our NordVPN review.
2. Surfshark VPN
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Highly affordable
- Great performance
- Weak self-help support section
Despite being relatively new service, Surfshark has more than enough features to land on our best VPN for Australia 2020 list. The company is registered in the British Virgin Islands, far away from Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and 14 Eyes surveillance alliances.
Their no-logs policy was even tested in 2018 by an independent audit conducted by the Cure53 agency. In turn, Surfshark was crowned the best newcomer among VPN’s in 2019.
However, their policy isn’t their only strength; there’s more on offer here. With AES 256-bit encryption and tunneling protocols like OpenVPN, IKEv2 protocols, and Shadowsocks, you’ll find a combination that is secure and fast in no time. You can try Surfshark for seven days with their free to test service.
The speeds are fast enough to comfortably stream Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and other streaming platforms – Surfhsark unblocks all of these. Not only will this VPN keep you more private; it will give you more digital flexibility as well.
For a deeper investigation of Surfshark VPN, read our Surfshark VPN review.
- Great for Netflix
- 7-day free trial
- Fast speeds
- macOS and iOS apps have fewer features
One of the smallest VPN server fleets with 150+ servers in 60+ countries; yet, PrivateVPN seems to cover the most important locations and provide you with relatively good connection speeds. There are also servers in Melbourne and Sydney, so if you’re abroad, it’s possible to connect to those as well.
This VPN service has all the best available protocols, IPv6 leak protection, DNS leak protection, and a kill switch. It should work with Netflix, Hulu, and other media streaming platforms, as well as with torrent clients like BitTorrent and uTorrent. With one plan you can use it on 6 devices.
The pricing plans are quite reasonable compared to what’s on offer. You can get PrivateVPN as low as $1.89/month. The service includes 24/7 live chat which will help solve any issue that might arise.
For a deeper investigation of PrivateVPN, read our PrivateVPN review.
- Great speeds
- Apps for major platforms, Android TV, and routers
- Unblocks Netflix and other platforms
- No anonymous payments
VyprVPN fairly recently also completed an independent audit of its no-logging policy. The review was conducted by Leviathan Security, certifying that no logs of customer data are being kept. The company behind VyprVPN, Golden Frog, is based in Switzerland, a country with no data retention laws. In other words, your privacy is in good hands with them.
What’s even more impressive is that VyprVPN owns and manages their own servers, all of the 700+ servers in 60+ countries are theirs. This makes the service a lot more secure and private. In addition to all the standard protocols and privacy features, VyprVPN comes with its Chameleon VPN technology, which helps avoid VPN blocking and throttling.
While this service does support P2P traffic, the company won’t stand for copyright violations. So, if torrenting is something that you’d like to do, it’s out of the question here. With that said, this VPN is compatible with most streaming platforms and unblocks Netflix.
You may try VyprVPN with a risk-free 3-day trial.
For a deeper investigation of VyprVPN, read our VyprVPN review.
5. Private Internet Access
- Very cheap
- Fast speeds
- 10 simultaneous connections
- Not good in China
Private Internet Access is based in the US, which is one of the least privacy-friendly countries. However, PIA has proven on a number of occasions that their commitment to user anonymity is a priority for them. Multiple court cases where PIA didn’t provide any data is testament to the fact that their no-logs claims are valid.
PIA boasts 3300+ servers, but these are distributed in only 46 or so countries. While some areas of the world could enjoy fast connections, others may suffer from slowdowns caused by physical distance from servers.
You can use PIA for Netflix and it is also great for torrenting. You can try PIA with no risk using the 7-day money-back guarantee option.
For a deeper investigation of Private Internet Access, read our Private Internet Access review.
- Excellent security
- 10 simultaneous connections
- Unblocks Netflix US
- No anonymous payment options
Although it’s based in the US (a Five Eyes alliance member), IPVanish does many things right. First of all, they rely on AES-256 encryption. This makes the service every bit as secure as the competition. Brute force attacks against you will be ineffective, making man-in-the-middle attacks useless against you.
The service also has no IP address or DNS leaks, making IPVanish all the more secure. There’s an in-built kill switch to protect you from accidental IP leaks. These measures combined guard your privacy from your ISP or other nosy individuals.
Secondly, the service works for torrenting or streaming. Get IPVanish to expand your internet usage possibilities. The speeds are good enough for your downloads to complete fast and your videos to buffer quickly.
For a deeper investigation of IPVanish, read our IPVanish review.
- Temptingly low pricing
- 10 simultaneous connections
- Good range of supported platforms
- Some of the server locations are fake or “virtual”
Based in Hong Kong, PureVPN has a lengthy list of features that will help you to protect your online privacy in Australia. You can choose between OpenVPN (TCP/UDP), L2TP, SSTP, IKEV, and PPTP. You should be able to find a combination that works with all your devices.
There are also unique features like IPv6 leak protection and smart port selection, which automatically connects to the best port. Should you need it, you can even use port forwarding. It’s one of the most feature-rich suites we’ve seen.
Currently, you can try PureVPN just for $5.82/month. With this trial, you’ll get access to all the mentioned features and be able to connect to any server.
For a deeper investigation of PureVPN, read our PureVPN review.
8. Hotspot Shield
- Free version
- Very fast
- Great for Netflix
- Most plans are not cheap
Hotspot Shield Premium is a paid version of the service. The added benefits include choosing any server and no data cap. It’s a vast improvement on an otherwise excellent product that removes all annoying ads.
The service relies entirely on the proprietary Catapult Hydra protocol, dropping the standard OpenVPN. This makes the service impossible to set it up on the router, and you will thus be restricted to five simultaneous connections with no way to expand the device count.
However, you’ll be delighted to know that P2P connections are enabled and work on all servers. You can also be sure that your downloads will stay hidden from your ISP. Check HotSpot Shield offers as they are known to run frequent discounts.
For a deeper investigation of Hotspot Shield, read our Hotspot Shield review.
How we made this Best VPN for Australia list
When picking the best VPN for Australia, we consider various features. Some of them might be more useful if you’re abroad and want some “Australian” content that is now inaccessible. In other cases, you might be living in the country but are concerned about your privacy. Here’s what you should be looking for when you’re looking for a VPN service:
- No-logs policy – the service should keep no identifiable data on you. It’s the only way to keep your privacy secure.
- Security – anything that makes your traffic harder to hijack is a plus. This includes reliable encryption and secure tunneling protocols.
- Performance –when connected to a VPN server, your internet speed should remain stable and high enough for bandwidth-intensive tasks like downloads and streaming
- Value – the price for the service should be reasonably priced when compared to the competition and the features that a particular provider brigs to the table.
Hopefully, this will help you when picking the best VPN for Australia.
Why use a VPN in Australia
Australia is one of those few countries that have no legal right to privacy embedded in the constitution. When it comes to internet privacy, the situation is grim, and it shows through recent government actions. Australia’s participation in the Five Eyes alliance means invasive surveillance, and it’s entirely legal for your ISP to keep tabs on you. Sadly, it’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Use a VPN for torrenting in Australia
Australian federal government recently expanded its crackdown on piracy. There are monitoring agencies like INCOPRO that work in tandem with the government to close down torrent tracker websites. The Copyright Amendment Bill was passed in 2018, which heavily restricts the distribution of copyrighted content.
Naturally, it is a crime in Australia to torrent copyrighted material even though there’s not much done against users of BitTorrent, uTorrent, or Vuze. Nevertheless, as a direct consequence of passed bills, most BitTorrent tracker sites such as IsoHunt, ThePirateBay, Torrentz, and TorrentHound are blocked. The total number of blacklisted torrent trackers is growing and includes all the most popular sites.
This, combined with the logging policies, can mean big trouble for you. You should never download anything copyrighted in Australia.
Data retention laws in Australia
Australia’s participation in the Five Eyes alliance means invasive surveillance is the norm. It only got worse when the government introduced mandatory data retention laws in 2015. This law requires the collection of text messages, calls, and internet connection data to be stored.
In practice, this means that your ISP logs all your online activities in data warehouses for two years. It’s impossible to know what is being done with it, and the authorities can access all this data without any warrant. This is an invasion of your privacy.
Australians are also restricted when it comes to legal streaming services for sports and other entertainment. There’s no way to purchase streaming services like Sling or HBO Now. Illegal streaming isn’t an option, but paid options may not always be available. This means that most Australians are missing out on the content that the rest of the world freely enjoys.
Based on the following examples, it should be pretty clear that if you are located in Australia, you should opt for the best VPN for Australia. This is the only solution to be free from surveillance and enjoy unrestricted internet.
Best VPN in Australia according to Whirlpool
Whirlpool is an independent Australian forum with 820,000 daily users. One of the widely discussed subjects is which is the best VPN for Australia. Most people are truly frustrated by the imposed restrictions on privacy and are actively looking for solutions.
Surprisingly, we noticed that Surfshark is one of the biggest favorites on Whirlpool. It gets praise for reliability, the ability to unblock Netflix, and great security features. Here’s what one user had to say about this service:
VPNs to avoid in Australia
Not all VPNs guarantee your safety. Some of them might claim they don’t keep logs, when in fact they still log connections and other data that could incriminate or identify you. Therefore, you need to make sure that you avoid VPNs that do not comply with the most basic requirements for best VPNs for Australia.
We recommend that you avoid all free VPNs because they are simply not secure enough. They log too much data and even sell or share that information with third parties, including marketers and legal authorities. So, you want to stay away from Hola VPN, VPN Gate, and the like. The only free VPNs we can advise trying are in our Best Free VPN for Australia article.
Privacy and VPNs in Australia – FAQ
What are the privacy laws in Australia?
The way privacy violations are legislated in Australian law doesn’t offer residents a lot of recourse. The only form of how privacy is protected is common law in conjunction with various federal, state and administrative regulations.
This is in addition to the government’s view of what constitutes a good reason to violate your privacy.
How long do ISPs keep your browsing history Australia
In April 2017, Australia passed the bill that made it mandatory for ISPs and telecommunication companies to store and collect data about their user’s communications for 24 months. This includes your browsing history, text messages, calls, and other connection information.
Are VPNs legal in Australia?
VPNs have legitimate purposes; no laws are prohibiting them. Using such a service to access geo-blocked content is not considered illegal in Australia. The Productivity Commission in Australia stated that due to strict copyright laws, Australians get charged more for inferior services than those of overseas markets. The report also cleared that means to circumvent geo-blocking are not illegal.
Can my ISP see what I do on a VPN?
When you’re connected to a VPN server, your IP is hidden. Your ISP only sees that there has been an exchange between your IP and the VPN server’s IP. The connection is encrypted, plus, connection to the destination server is handled by the VPN, so your ISP can’t expose your activities.
Can I use a VPN with Netflix?
Netflix usually blocks IP’s that are linked to VPNs. That is thy most services are unable to bypass Netflix blocks. With that said, all of the services on our list will let you watch Netflix.
Although the company doesn’t encourage the practice of using a VPN, you’re not breaking any Australian law in doing so.
Can I use a VPN for Torrenting?
You absolutely should use a VPN for torrenting. Without it, your ISP can instantly tell what you’re downloading and from where. Under data retention laws, this means that this information stays pinned on you for several years and stored in data centers. If you download copyright-protected material, this may also get you in deep trouble with the authorities.